ST-v-SW.Net - Past and Future

In searching for something for a forthcoming blog post, I came across a familiar URL in the search results.  Hitting the link, I found this post:


"Holy crap," I thought to myself, "I don't even remember that.   That's awesome!"

That may be true, but it's also terrible, because I had completely forgotten that, even when I recently saw someone making the claim that it was an asteroid hitting the ISD directly.

This brings up something I've been wanting to do lately, which is to really just stop what I'm doing and go through every blog post, StarfleetJedi.Net post, and all the other little morsels I have collected in different places, and make sure that ST-v-SW.Net reflects the current state of my thinking.  I'd wanted to do that for old e-mail feedback and whatnot previously, but I think it more important (with apologies to my poorly-responded-to feedback folks) to get the site right first.

I say that because, let's face it . . . ST-v-SW.Net is currently a blog portal, for all intents and purposes.  As is probably apparent, my thinking has evolved over the course of blog posts (which were intended merely as informal quickie-repository notes for stuff that was meant to later become pages anyway).

As a result of very little page progress over the past several years, there are only a handful of pages I would consider to be both current and up to my standards.

The main Volumetrics page, for instance, is somewhat close to my standards (though the footnotes on ship classes are kinda messy), but not especially current . . . not only are most of the links long-dead (it's not even Google SketchUp anymore, but Trimble SketchUp), but of course the recent work on Star Wars vessel densities is not properly reflected there.

Even some of the site design itself comes from the time when the pro-Wars inflationists were at their most venomous, threatening, and otherwise unpleasant, which had led to my own Star Wars fandom waning for awhile as I mistakenly allowed their behavior to sour Star Wars for me.   Indeed, many of the older pages are basically expanded forum posts, and maintain the tone of having been written to a specific, very hostile audience.

I'd spoken before about trying to transition over to some other website-maintaining technique that works with my current workflow needs, but frankly I don't want to end up with a whole extra level of annoyance wherein I'm forced to fight the system constantly to get it to do what I want.   And then there's all the security holes.  And, of course, I'd hate to be that guy who suddenly screws with everything and makes over a decade of links to specific pages on my site just die.   Not to mention the aspect of perhaps someday wanting to bequeath this to some other poor interested sap benevolent humanitarian.

So, basically, things languished . . . it hardly made sense to rewrite a page unless I was doing it for whatever new system, and I couldn't find a satisfactory new system . . . still haven't.   (That said, I've been enjoying working on the NoLettersHome wiki, but that's not the direction to go for this site, and not just because of MediaWiki's Nazi enforcement of single spacing after sentences.)

So in the interim, I had the thought at one time of taking any page that was too out-of-date or crappy and just making new sections . . . one for premier pages, and another for the not-so-premier.

But, I ended up putting that on hold when Brian Young of SciFights.Net posted a very strange attack video against the forum regulars of StarfleetJedi.Net, wherein he basically tried to pretend that they were just as bad as his StarDestroyer.Net buddies were back in the day, and in which he generally just made up things. For example, he attacked my ancient "Brief Note" "placeholder" page for blaster firepower that shows the blaster shot against Leia's arm.  The second half of the page (seen here as it existed in 2003) later got expanded into the Trek ground weapons materials, but the similar Star Wars version (which would, of course, be far longer) has never gone any further.

In the video, he even tried to claim that I was currently pointing people to that dozen-year-old page in active efforts to counter his modern claims of higher firepower, which was another bald-faced lie of the many in that crooked video (in which, for example, he declares the authors of the StarfleetJedi wiki to be liars and claims proof in that the crazed lunatics dared to use a preposition, "to"! (gasp!)).   Out of sheer spite, I decided to leave the page untouched, so that anyone who looked at it could see the big notes all over it that indicated it was not a real page.

I also intended to fairly quickly respond to that video as well as other parts of his site, SciFights.Net, which had not graduated to my radar before but which, I've now noticed, had been sniping in my direction for some time.  But despite my desire to respond all at once, the fact is that video, by its nature, is a mess to deal with.   It allows for sleight-of-hand and aw-shucks huxterism that can seem quite persuasive, but it is not the professional's debate technique.  

The reasons are many and varied, but suffice it to say that (a) hours of rambling video (such as the 2.5 hours or so of ICS apologetics on his site) make it quite difficult to get a cohesive narrative that can be quoted for dismantling, and (b) unless one is sitting in front of a computer the video can't be easily dealt with at all . . . you either have to be sitting at the computer with the video doing transcription, or with a video program editing up one's own video response.   Either way, it's not exactly conducive to my modern workflow.

I took to recording audio notes about the videos, but that was a mistake as the fun part was thus complete, and only the drudgery of doing my own transcription remained.  I haven't gotten far, there.

But I digress . . .

The silliness notwithstanding, the underlying principle his attack made plain . . . that there were now-antique pages that were ripe for misrepresentation, and that this would be used even against the most ancient and the most "this-is-a-placeholder"-marked pages . . . was made even harder to ignore.

And of course, his misrepresentation efforts weren't even original, but were instead reminiscent of some other nonsense claimed about that page back in 2003 . . .
"Ossus and Wong then assume silly things about what the pictures represent (even in spite of the words I write in addition to the thousand words the pictures speak), and come up with ludicrous ideas like this one:
He then goes on to claim that the shot is representative of blaster firepower in SW by stating that he would rather fire bullets than blaster shots.
In fact, I made no such claim . . . I simply said that I'd rather use bullets.  Had the stormtrooper scored a direct hit on Leia's arm with a bullet instead of a blaster bolt, he'd have done much more damage, and possibly saved his two buddies that Leia easily killed a few moments later.   Hell, even a blaster's stun setting would have been more incapacitating."
One would think that complimenting the stopping power of a blaster on stun over the blaster shot that scorched Leia's arm would be sufficient, but I guess not.

Now, in fairness, much as I railed against the messiness of video, it is also true that my ideas are not properly condensed into neat packaged pages either . . . I never changed the Leia page to include the stun reference, for instance.  And indeed, ST-v-SW.Net will never be complete.  This is not the sort of topic you can just toss out a few videos on and claim to have completed.  Even if I stopped accepting any new canon right now, there's enough minutiae in existing material to keep me occupied for the rest of my life.   So no, not complete.

But, just from a quick look around the site and comparison to my modern thinking, ST-v-SW.Net can be made far better, and needs to be, if even for no other reason than to disarm the Brian Youngs of the world.


Caffeine: Count her into it, if . . .

Did you know that caffeine slows your heart?

No, really.

That's just a reminder of my old point that if Ben Franklin were watching a documentary of modern life and didn't always know what was really going on, he'd be confused about some things . . . maybe even make fun of it.

Imagine he was watching some highly advanced medical facility where someone was being tested for heart trouble.  He sees the person in discomfort, sees the incredible 'special effects' of the person's heart being shown on a monitor in black-and-white, and then . . . the medical professional overseeing the event hands the person coffee and tells them to drink it to slow their heart rate.

Sounds absurd, doesn't it?   Ben might, if he were a jackass, sit there and try to make fun of the silly bullcrap being shown.

Of course, a better Ben might take an alternate approach.   Suppose he hypothesizes that in this universe he's watching, perhaps a drug was applied offscreen that did something else strange to the patient's cardiovascular system, and somehow caffeine reversed the effect.   (One is reminded in this case of synthehol . . . some substance that gets you drunk but the effects can be dismissed if needed.)

Of course, Better Ben has no mechanism to work with, what with the limited state of his 18th Century science, so the Lesser Ben (the jackass) might be more likely to ridicule Better Ben.

Nevertheless, Better Ben's more imaginative version of events happens to be correct.

Regadenoson is a drug which, when administered, acts as a vasodilator . . . it opens up the bloodways.  Due to certain reasons, this causes the heart to crank itself up to 11.

Caffeine, as we know and Ben doesn't, is a vasoconstrictor . . . it closes up the bloodways.   This serves to negate the effects of the vasodilator, despite the fact that caffeine and similar drugs are known to make your heart beat faster under normal circumstances.

So, counterintuitive as it may seem even to modern folk, caffeine can be used to slow the heart rate.

While we're on the topic of caffeine, it seems to me that in the not-too-distant future, the growing nanny state . . . if allowed to continue apace . . . will eventually lock on to caffeine as a target.   This would suggest that obvious events like Janeway's caffeine addiction may, at some point, be viewed as a strangely backwards part of the old Star Trek series, as peculiar to the eyes of later viewers as it would be to us now if Kirk and Spock were smoking cigarettes on the bridge.  (Maybe they should've called it caffehol!)

Indeed, that was a rather far-sighted choice in the 60's when almost half of Americans smoked (even if a "no smoking" transporter room sign in the TOS films undercut the non-smoking depiction a bit).  I was blown away the other day when near a television that had Ghostbusters running and I stopped, seeing how casually all the characters were just sitting around smoking.   Today that would be unconscionable and the powerful and well-funded anti-smoking lobby would be up in arms.

Is caffeine really that different?   I would say no.  It's just another addictive drug that happens to be culturally-accepted.  They both have similar effects in some ways, though the common and ancient nicotine delivery system is rather more noxious than the usual caffeine delivery systems.

Of course, some of the newfangled nicotine delivery systems replace noxious fumes and fire with electronics and huge blindingly-dense huge clouds that are probably just as rude to nearby people as the stinky clouds.

As entertaining as it may be to act as one's own personal fog machine (and Batman, eat your heart out), the notion of having a drug-delivering machine like that reminds me a little too much of the soldiers of "Encounter at Farpoint" . . . for those who like to claim that Star Trek predicted everything, there you go.

That said, it also opens up the possibility that the Benzites are perhaps not the sweet innocent folk we like to think they are. Consider that the first Benzite we saw was taking an exam to enter Starfleet Academy, another was on an exchange program, and the other main one we saw was an actual Starfleet officer.

The last one of those didn't have the little Benzite breather units.   All the others did.   Commonly, it's assumed that those doodads deliver critical atmospheric gasses that those Benzites needed, but that there was some sort of advancement allowing the female on the runabout to not need one.  (Did we ever see a female with one anyway?)

But suppose that's not for medical purposes at all, but is instead their equivalent of vaping (electronic smoking)?   It could be as big a deal in their society as smoking was in ours sixty years ago.when about half the population did it.

It isn't beyond the pale to imagine that Starfleet might allow non-aligned Benzites to have such devices and even use them for a time aboard ship but that they are expected to kick the habit if they actually join up.  After all, you'd hardly want a commonly-cracked-out Benzite on your landing party suffering withdrawals if the ship's away for a few extra days or something.

But then, that would seem awfully species-ist . . . after all, why not let Benzites have their electronic crack pipes if you're letting Janeway jones on her liquid crack?   If I was a Benzite told I couldn't have my electro-weed all up in my face all the time, I'd be pretty ticked if I then saw that humans were drinking their weed tea.

Perhaps the solution is obvious . . . it isn't that Benzites were ordered to get off the smack.   Perhaps, like Janeway, they were just allowed to drink it.


Density, Indeed: Points of Logical Departure

This is a bit long, my apologies, but as it has to do with the very nature of how to do this sort of thing I couldn't help but have to address a few topics in one post.   But first, let's ponder this example:

Naboo's "core" is famously (perhaps infamously) shown as a watery-cavern-filled intraplanetary highway enabling quick transit from one part of the planet to another.  Authors of Star Wars-related works have tried to imagine unique ways for this to be the case despite what we know of planets, with varying degrees of success.

Of course, we all know that there should be no possible way for this to happen.  Rock is hot enough at a point not too terribly deep on Earth to be in a very plastic . . . one might go so far as to say almost gooey . . . state.  Liquid water would have no business there, and more importantly couldn't.

If that weren't enough, the Naboo power station (the peculiar-looking location for the lightsaber battle in TPM) and its "plasma-fueled generator core" on Theed as referenced in the RotS novelization were apparently fed by plasma mined from Naboo.   Note "Crisis on Naboo":
"Take a moment and look around this glorious city of yours.  It wasn't long ago this was all plasma mines.  Naboo has indeed come a long way. But as we chart a bold course for the future, let us never forget our past."
This is even worse.   Just as water shouldn't be hanging out around semi-solid rock, plasma . . . ionized gas . . . shouldn't be hanging out around or below the surface of the planet.  Even more strange is that the pit Maul fell into is said in the TPM novelization to be the melting pit for the power station's residue.  What residue? No idea.

I bring up these canonical oddities because once again an inflationist is trying to insist that his interpretation of science, applied to the canon, thus overrides it.

As most of my readers know, over a decade ago inflationists started trying to make Star Wars win technology versus debates at any cost, and this included inflating the power systems and requiring some strange ultra-dense tachyonic (FTL-particle-based) fuel with a complex mass/energy that allowed for vessel mass nullification.

This brings us to my recent post about fuel density from the TCW novelization.  There, it is made clear that sufficient fuel to reach another system less than a day's hyperspace travel away doesn't weigh too terribly much, in the grand scheme. This fits nicely with the classic Star Wars technology base of fusion power systems and liquid fuel storage along with additional liquid fuel examples from TCW.  Put simply, fuel in Star Wars invariably gives every appearance of being a normal-density fluid that's flammable under the proper conditions, and there is no evidence to the contrary.

However, the Star Wars canon's description of fuel thus runs contrary to inflationist mythology . . . obviously, canonically-based not-so-dense flammable liquid fuel . . . the sort of stuff you can literally swim through . . . completely destroys the inflationist claims.  The fact that the TCW novelization gives us a specific density reference clearly tied to that small vessel's fuel supply was a nice extra.

But, desperate to keep Star Wars aligned with the values he and his inflationist comrades pulled from the stratosphere despite years of canon evidence standing against it the whole time (and more having come since!), Brian Young has attempted to retort that since at least one type of fuel was mined from the "core" of Malastare in TCW's zillo beast episodes, then Star Wars fuel is in fact the hyperdense tachyonic nonsense.

Given that plasma from the ground on a planet with a watery core was sufficient to help build Naboo, it doesn't seem to me that such an assumption is necessarily the safest one in reference to Star Wars . . . it certainly doesn't override the rest of the canon, as Brian seems to desire.  This notion seems borne out by the fuel's actual behavior.

First, the Dugs opened the valves to pour the fuel into the beast's sinkhole using large manually-turned valves to unleash a flow in meter-wide pipes.   That hardly suggests a super-dense fluid with great weight pressing against the valving.   Sure, they could've been using the equivalent of power steering to turn it, but why then have a wheel-style user interface at all on a valve?

Second, the fuel was pretty clearly evaporating at a decent rate, given the green fog emanating from the sinkhole.   It was not merely the earlier dust from the sinkhole's creation, since that was pretty much gone by the time the fuel started getting poured in, and there was no indication of mist or spray from the fuel itself on the way down, a la a waterfall.   Interestingly, the fuel vapor did not ignite when explosions happened within the pit, which actually fits reasonably well with the fuel not igniting until making contact with sparky things in RotS, making it more like diesel than gasoline.   But in any case, the point is that denser fluids don't evaporate as easily, so if this was super-dense, we wouldn't expect to see evaporation at all.

Third, and most importantly, we get good views of three horizontal pipes at least a meter wide each that get bent when the vertical sections that elbow down into the ground collapse into the sinkhole . . . they were empty at the time.   These bent pipes obviously could not resist the force of the connected sections falling away, but could hang into the air several meters after being bent and could effortlessly support the weight of the liquid fuel without further deformation.  Obviously, then, the piping was not ultra-strong, given that the vertical sections did not continue to stand irrespective of the collapsing earth around it.

So, imagine for a moment a wrist-sized metal pipe that gets bent when a section is pulled slowly away by hand.  This means that it is weaker than most modern piping, where anything more than about an inch-and-a-half diameter is too solid to bend without assistance.

Now imagine it allows a fluid to travel through the bent section with no additional damage or bending visible at all.   It would hardly follow at that point that the fluid is of the density of iron or anywhere north of it.  You would assume water, at best, so the forces that bent the pipe are greater than the force of the extra weight of the fluid in the same pipe.

(Also, just while we're on the topic of the Malastare fuel, the green glowing nature of it seems to be related to whatever toxin that was in it which affected the zillo beast.  When in the second of the two zillo beast episodes, the alien doctor's conversion of the Malastare fuel's toxin into a poison gas was a green glowing gassy yuck.  Thus, once refined or otherwise filtered, we would expect the Malastare fuel to be the same sort of non-glowing liquids as seen elsewhere in the canon.)


So basically, here, the situation we seem to have . . . as always, it seems . . . is that inflationists will try as hard as possible to ignore or warp the canon to their own ends, trying to force it to match some pet theory based on tenuous conclusions on other events.  I get it . . . sometimes the canon is silly, no matter which canon it is.   And the whole bit about hyperdense fuel with tachyonic whatzits that allow FTL travel via complex mass manipulation (as well as the whole neutrino-based magical heat sink stuff they claim) is some very imaginative science fiction.  But, it isn't Star Wars.

The simple fact is, if it's clear canon in some fictional universe that 1+1=3 on all occasions, you can't ignore it . . . it's a fact of the universe.   If you don't want to analyze a universe where that is the case, then pick another.  Don't cherry-pick and pretend 1+1=2 despite the canon.

Indeed, not to make him a whipping boy, but Brian Young has had the very same issue with his foes in the past when in regards to Babylon 5.   In a tale he loves to re-tell over and over again, an opposing Babylon 5 technology site's author had, after exhaustive work, concluded that a Minbari Sharlin cruiser should have such-and-such hull resilience.   However, some episode or other featured a "mere" two-megaton device at a great range causing the cruiser's destruction, which the guy thought was at least an order of magnitude too low.   Brian Young says that while Brian himself correctly rolled with what the canon said and tried to make it work sensibly with the rest of the material, this other chap . . . a B5 inflationist, it seems . . . supposedly went bonkers over the notion that it just had to be a bigger kaboom, supposedly even trying to do a letter-writing campaign to have the canon changed via a redub of the line (an attempt which failed miserably), et cetera.

Now, I know approximately zip about Babylon 5 and frankly couldn't care less.   However, what's notable here is that Brian Young engages in the exact same behavior now, outright dismissing inconvenient portions of the Star Wars canon when it fails to live up to what he considers a carefully-constructed worldview of what Star Wars technology should be.  (Indeed, in several of his videos he posits that an actor must've flubbed a line (e.g. Tom Paris in "The 37's", Taitt in "Descent", et cetera), which suggests he's much more like his former storied adversary than he would care to admit.)

That's simply no way to do science fiction analysis, and indeed it's not very scientific generally.  The first rule of analysis . . . the first rule of science . . .  is to observe the universe.   We treat this stuff like it's a documentary of events in that universe, a universe which we can clearly observe to have certain technologies and capabilities far beyond our modern comprehension. The universe itself features a separate spatial domain we've never even heard of that allows for fantastic velocities, for instance, not to mention mystical energy fields that violate time and space.

And yet, rather than accept that in this context we are stupid and should behave accordingly, not being too overbold in our assertions, some people think it best to ignore any inconvenient evidence in favor of their own limited comprehension of our own hyperspaceless, Cosmic-Forceless, Living-Forceless, Floating-Island-less, Crazy-Masked-Chicks-less universe.

The moment we start ignoring canon because we think we know real science and thus don't have to listen to that pesky canon thing anymore, we undercut the entire enterprise of analyzing a sci-fi universe.

And, of course, at that moment when we're disregarding canon as a first move rather than a final act of desperation when the "documentary" logic simply breaks down (e.g. visible mic booms and similar production errors, flagrant and completely un-reconcilable internal contradiction and inconsistency, et cetera), then we're just talking about our assumptions plus a few scenes from Star Wars we've deigned to bother discussing.  Suffice it to say, that's not Star Wars anymore.

Please forgive me for beating of a dead horse . . . I've been saying this sort of things for years (e.g. 1, 2) . . . but the simple fact is that injecting one's own beliefs about science at the expense of canon fact, even if one can claim (rightly or wrongly) that these correspond with real science, defeats our purpose.

After all, even those with the most academically-honorific letters after our names (and don't you forget it) are not necessarily the most powerful prognosticators of future discoveries.  Not to pick on our old friend Mike Wong, but . . .
"How many different abuses of radiation can the Star Trek writers commit? Not only do they seemingly invent a new type of radiation every week, but they have created the most comical science fiction construct that I have ever seen: a radiation vaccine.
Don't believe me? Sadly, it's true. In STFC, Beverly Crusher discovers that there are high levels of radiation in the missile complex where Zefram Cochrane's warp-ship is being readied for launch, so she says that everyone must be "innoculated." Innoculated against radiation! What's next? A vaccine to make you immune to bullets? An injection to make you impervious to being whacked in the head with a baseball bat? A drug to let you walk into a blast furnace without getting burned? Radiation is a physical assault upon the human body, not a viral assault. No vaccine will ever make your body immune to radiation, any more than it can allow you to walk into a blast furnace, shrug off a baseball bat to the head, or bounce bullets off your chest.
Lest you think that perhaps this was an isolated incident, the radiation vaccines have been mentioned elsewhere, such as "Booby Trap" and "The Omega Directive". The Star Trek writers clearly believe that radiation can be treated as if it is a virus. All you can do is shake your head"
 A mere handful of years later, this 'sad', "comical" "abuse" worthy of nothing more than 'shaking one's head' after writing paragraphs about the sheer stupidity of it became real medical science when researchers found that it was possible to selectively inhibit the protein that causes cell suicide when cellular damage occurs.   In other words, your cells are still getting screwed with, but the radiation doesn't cause the cells to say "ah, frak me" and keel over, going mitochondria-up. As such, you live longer.


There's also a way to use a virus to deliver a gene into bone marrow stem cells, causing increased production of a protein that allows greater capture of free radicals, which also reduces the effects of radiation on the body.


Given other possibilities relating to existing cellular repair mechanisms, it thus seems entirely likely that one could develop a way to protect from relatively short-term exposure to harmful radiation.  But of course, rather than ponder in that direction and try to imagine what the Federation's doctors might've come up with, it was cheaper fun to just rip into the stupidity of silly old Star Trek, which worked really well for a handful of years until real science caught up and made a mockery of Wong's attitude.

While I can't find the reference, I recall Wong also being convinced that science fiction which revelled in nanotechnology allowing for awesome things to be entirely silly, on the grounds that a material (say, carbon or steel) was just a material, and a nanotech-ified version couldn't possibly have significantly greater properties than a solid block of the material.   I trust that the advancements in nanotechnology over even just the past decade have disavowed him of this notion.

Put simply, while we know a great many things, moreso now than ever before, it is a capital mistake to assume we know everything and dismiss imaginative science fiction on those grounds.  And it's silly . . . we currently "know" lightspeed is the ultimate speed limit, yet we watch shows where violation of that speed limit is commonplace.   If we're going to ignore canon in favor of science, we should at least define where we intend to put the barrier so as to be consistent.   But of course, the location of the border needs to change constantly, because the only consistency to inflationism is its goal.

Personal incredulity, feigned or otherwise, is no basis for a canon analysis.  The scientific method itself involves first observing the facts of the universe, and dismissing those facts as hard to comprehend based on one's current dogma seems like an awfully anti-scientific way of thinking.

As I've noted elsewhere, this would be akin to someone from long ago dismissing assorted parts of a documentary on modern living because they were too unbelievable.   Just imagine a horticulture expert from ages past who knew beyond a shadow of a doubt the maximum possible yield of a certain crop, only to see it said that in the modern era, we can do ten times better.   For us, it's a fact of life . . . to him, a sad and comical abuse worthy of nothing more than head-shaking disbelief.

So yeah, you go try to keep your head still while I go eat some tortilla chips made from the corn of a tremendously-productive American farm.


Found At Last: Battle Line Maneuvers

Though I didn't buy it at the time, I recall looking in a bookstore in the 90s and choosing between the Star Wars Technical Journal and another book.

I always remembered a particular page or two from that perusal.   The basic gist was that nobody in the Star Wars universe could deal with the 3-D nature of space without getting queasy, so all space combat was done in 2-D format and, as such, ended up looking not unlike the sort of fleet combat Lord Nelson might've understood.  There were even diagrams of battle line maneuvers featuring top-down views of cruiser lines, white ships against a gray background.

In the years since, I've often recalled these pages and even mentioned them a few times, noting that I couldn't remember the book's name, but no one ever volunteered that particular info.    It was fun to point that out when certain inflationist folks were trying to suggest that the EU invariably uber-fied Star Wars.

Finally I have located the book, thus solving a mystery for me that's like two decades old or so.

It's the Rebel Alliance Sourcebook of West End Games.  Page 54 starts the particular bits I remember, but the entire section is interesting enough.

As of this writing, Googling for the Rebel Alliance Sourcebook pulls up a PDF version pretty readily, so enjoy.


Hyperdrive Reversion Velocities

Following on from the last post, there's the old question of whether you maintain a particular velocity upon hyperdrive exit.   That is to say, if you're doing 100 when you enter, are you doing 100 when you exit?

The question itself could be considered somewhat silly, really.   Consider that the apparent speed of the International Space Station as considered from the ground is something like 7.6 kilometers per second in its orbit.   But then consider that on the surface at the equator, the revolution of the Earth means that one sitting still on the ground is still whipping around at 0.44 km/s.  That's nothing compared to the planet's speed around the sun, which is more like 28.9 km/s.

So even if you could freeze the galaxy and stop its rotation, just going between two Earth-like planets in two Sol-like solar systems where the planets were still revolving around their suns in the same plane could involve a velocity difference of almost 60 kilometers per second if they happen to be going the opposite way at the time.

Of course, the galaxy isn't frozen.  In fact, we're out on one of the spiral arms doing about 220km/s around the galaxy, and in a bobbing motion over and under the plane (as measured over millions of years, anyway).  And if we considered that some sort of standard, then naturally we'd also have to recognize that solar systems closer in or further out are moving at different velocities (though dark matter theorists dispute this).   In any case, stars don't move around the galactic center in an orderly fashion, so there will be differences between systems in any event.

And, just for kicks, let's also note that the galaxy itself is trucking along at around 600 kilometers per second.

The point is, not only might you have a generic difference of 60 kilometers per second, but you could also have additional velocity differences between worlds you're traveling to via hyperdrive or other FTL means.

So, there's a question of frame of reference involved.  

Generally speaking, Star Wars vessels seem to depart and arrive from planets at relatively low velocities relative to the planets themselves.  Certainly Solo's reversion to realspace near the Alderaan debris, said to be a planetary diameter out, was done at a sufficiently low velocity that his debris impacts were nothing near hypervelocity in nature.

The exit velocity may be a characteristic of hyperspace and its hyperlanes, or an effect afforded by the hyperdrive itself.   This is not clear.

Certainly even unusual reversions, such as the power-failure reversion of "Jedi Crash"[TCW1] or the emergency reversion of "A Sunny Day in the Void"[TCW5], seem to leave the ship at a relatively low velocity relative to the surroundings (for certain values of "relative", anyway).  That would seem to suggest that the hyperdrive cannot be used to, say, easily create a high-sublight kinetic missile.  (Indeed, it also seems that while hyperdriven ships ought not collide with things, the things themselves don't seem to mind much . . . otherwise, why create a Death Star?)

Consider a ship like a Republic Space Cruiser or Frigate, with a mass somewhere between ten and twenty thousand tonnes.  Even the low end of that gives the ship a kinetic energy of 10.75 gigatons at 1% of the speed of light (3000 km/s), which is as fast or faster than any ship we've ever seen in realspace in Star Wars.   Such a high-speed ship would be a tremendous weapon compared to any weapon in Star Wars other than the Death Star.   Certainly evildoers would have employed this technique if it was usable.  

On the other hand, we have the Malevolence, which apparently did collide with a moon to seemingly tremendous effect, apparently while trying to go into hyperspace.

So even if exit velocity is somehow constrained by "hyperspace brakes", it seems a hypermissile can be made simply by timing the hyperdrive to attempt hyperspace entry in the direction of the offending planet.  That is, unless the Malevolence example is not what it appears to be.

In any case, especially in reference to "Jedi Crash", the canon strongly suggests a relatively low exit velocity is somehow tied to hyperspace itself.   That is to say, in "Jedi Crash" a ship hypers out of a planet's atmosphere and, when the hyperdrive is shut off via the power being cut, the ship is not traveling at relativistic velocity.  Certainly we might be tempted to expect relativistic speeds if the hyperspace exit were uncontrolled, but we don't see that.

The real question following on from the last post, however, is "can a ship accelerate via hyperdrive"?   I see no reason why not, within the limits apparent above.  Certainly a micro-jumping ship might be able to gain velocity on its way away from a planet, rather than toward it, and still maintain some semblance to the "hyperspace brakes" notion.

But, alas, there's no clear answer here.  I hate that.

Microjumps and Shrinkage

I mentioned ages ago the reference to short jumps and have referred to it specifically in reference to Obi-Wan's escape from Utapau, but as certain parties didn't catch on I should probably expand the reference thusly:

On page 110 of the Revenge of the Sith novelization, we learn how vessels can evade hyperspace tracking, inasmuch as not revealing your destination on account of which way you were headed.
"[Grievous's escape vessel] would then make a series of randomized microjumps to prevent being tracked before entering the final jump to the secret base on Utapau."
 Later, Obi-Wan himself uses such a technique when escaping Utapau in Grievous's own dented fighter:
"Obi-Wan took General Grievous's starfighter screaming out of the atmosphere so fast he popped the gravity well and made jump before the Vigilance could even scramble its fighters.  He reverted to realspace well beyond the system, kicked the starfighter to a new vector, and jumped again.  A few more jumps of random direction and duration left him deep in interstellar space.
     "You know," he said to himself,  "integral hyperspace capability is rather useful in a starfighter; why don't we have it yet?"
     While the starfighter's nav system whirred and chunked its way  through recalculating his position, he punched codes to gang his Jedi comlink into the starfighter's system."
 This is possibly the technique used by Solo when departing Tatooine with Luke and Obi-Wan and the droids, too . . . either at Tatooine or some other locale en route.  It was something like a 1.5 week trip, after all:
"You know, even I get boarded sometimes, Jabba. Did you think I dumped that spice because I got tired of its smell? I wanted to deliver it as  much as you wanted to receive it. I had no choice." Again the sardonic smile. "As you say, I'm too valuable to fry. But I've got a charter now and I can pay you back, plus a little extra. I just need some more time. I can give you a thousand on account, the rest in three weeks." (ANH Novelization, Ch. 7)
I bring this up because it is claimed by Brian Young that Utapau visibly shrinks in the distance behind Obi-Wan as he's leaving Utapau, and this is claimed to represent uber-acceleration.   Obviously, it does not, as we know that Obi-Wan was cutting in the hyperdrive here and there.

One could argue that Obi-Wan getting out of the gravity well and into hyperspace before a ship could launch fighters is indicative of some massive velocity, but since we don't know when the fighter was detected (indeed, technically we don't know it was detected at all), we have absolutely no time limit on this whatsoever.

As such, the scene is useless for sublight acceleration calculations.

(In addition, there are other less important problems, as well.  For one, the shot of Obi-Wan in the cockpit features lighting changes inconsistent with the view through the window . . . that is to say, it's like a bad old movie where the road was projected on a screen behind the actors, but even as the road was winding the light on the actors didn't change.

Similarly, the space shot that Brian makes claims about features a visible star way, way in the wrong place.   For the planets to be lit by that, it would have to be what one might call an "extremely compact quasi-stellar object" (ECQO) in close orbit.  Otherwise, the planets should look like the merest slivers.    The only other alternative would be to argue that the field of view is profoundly monkeyed with in that scene, and even possibly being actively changed throughout it, which is a possibility but would then also render its use as an acceleration guide kaput.  Given that the star moves much like the moons do, it seems it must be either an ECQO or a monkeyed scene.)


Two Spaces After Punctuation

This is how I was taught, and rightly so.  It looks better.   It enhances readability, especially when the font doesn't have capital letters of full height or the period seems rather tiny, or both.   And it has historical backing in that printers of old would use an enhanced space after the period, which was translated in typewriting as two spaces.   There is no reason to change it . . . it makes computer searching for sentences much easier, too, because otherwise you can't tell the difference between the end of a sentence and Dr. McCoy.

Now, however, there are forces bound and determined to destroy this readability and utility and force a single space upon the world, making everything into run-on-sentence gobbledygook on the grounds that some typographers think whitespace "looks bad".   They are small in number and mind, but have some power and seek to exercise it on us all, and I've seen quite a few vicious attacks on unsuspecting double-spacers . . . assaults on the innocent for no good reason, as double-spacing hurts no one.

So I say up yours, commie statist bastards!   I'm reading to get information, not worry about your entirely-too-nuanced (read: stupid) aesthetic opinion of white space on a page.  You want no white space?  Stop using the spacebar entirely, and see how far that gets you.

I kid you not, this is literally the reason why ST-v-SW.Net isn't going to go the same way I have gone with NoLettersHome, which is using MediaWiki.   MediaWiki's makers enforce a single space in their wiki parser, so that even if you put two the second gets cut out.  Were it not for certain needs MediaWiki and plugins can fulfill, I would run away from such Apple-esque thinking.

Next up . . . 2S-v-1S.Net . . . the final apocalyptic battle of good versus evil.  

Remember, when you use only one space after a period, the terrorists win.